Henry James Writing Styles in The Beast in the Jungle

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Third-person narration, which consistently represents John Marcher's point of view, dominates James's story. The reader is privy to Marcher's thoughts, but the narrating voice declines to comment on these thoughts. In this respect, James is known as an innovator. In comparison with the third-person omniscience of the great nineteenth-century realists (for example, George Eliot), whose narration not only conveyed characters' thoughts and actions but also commentary and judgment regarding those thoughts and actions, James's third-person narration limits itself to presenting Marcher's thoughts and stops there. James's innovation, then, is to have introduced a narrative technique which is less regulative of the reader's experience: readers are not necessarily told what to think by James. However, this third-person narration in "The Beast in the Jungle" is occasionally disrupted. In the second section of the story, the narrating voice moves to encompass the reader by the introduction of the...

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This section contains 769 words
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Short Stories for Students
The Beast in the Jungle from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.